THE MACHINE, MACBETH and More Set for Manchester International Festival, July 2013

Theatre-programme-announced-for-Manchester-International-Festival-2013-20010101

The theatre programme for the Manchester International Festival 2013 has been announced.

MIF13 commissions include:

The Machine
The Old Woman
Macbeth
The Masque of Anarchy
The Rite of Spring

More in-depth details follow!

THE MACHINE

Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, Josie Rourke, will direct the world premiere of award-winning writer Matt Charman's new work: The Machine. This new play is based on Grandmaster Garry Kasparov's headline-grabbing 1997 New York chess tournament against Deep Blue, a super-computer developed by technology giant IBM.

An international celebrity and the undisputed master of his game, Kasparov came to America for freedom and glory. What he didn't expect to confront was the lifelong dedication of another man, Deep Blue's wunderkind inventor Doctor Hsu. Both geniuses, they staked their reputations on the tournament.

Josie Rourke, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse said: "It means such a lot for me to be coming home as Artistic Director of the Donmar working with these great partners on such an exceptional new play. It's always been a source of sadness that I've never had work on in the North West - the last time I worked in the city was as a temp in a Chartered Surveyors' office overlooking Albert Square. It's therefore particularly joyful to be directing Matt Charman's exceptional and thrilling play in Upper Campfield, as part of the superlative Manchester International Festival, and to be taking the Donmar back to New York in this partnership with the Armory."

Alex Poots, Artistic Director, said: "On behalf of both Manchester International Festival and The Armory in New York I am delighted that we will be working with Josie Rourke and her team from the Donmar to bring Matt Charman's exceptional play to life this summer. Both spaces in Manchester and New York will lend a fantastic sense of scale to this story of man against machine."

The Machine is commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival, Donmar Warehouse and Park Avenue Armory.

Creative Team:

Josie Rourke Director
Matt Charman Writer

Listings:

THE MACHINE
CAMPFIELD MARKET HALL, CAMPFIELD AVENUE ARCADE,
MANCHESTER, M3 4FH
10 - 11 July at 7.30pm (previews)
12 - 13 July (7.30pm), 16 - 21 July (7.30pm).

Additional matinee performances 13, 14, 20 & 21 July (2.30pm).

Tickets £35, £25 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction fee applies)
Concessions available
Box Office: www.mif.co.uk | 0844 375 2013

£12 tickets for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage, available on a first come first served honesty basis

Josie is the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, London where she directed Berenice, The Physicists and The Recruiting Officer in 2012. Later this year, she will direct The Weir.

Josie was born and educated in Salford, at St Patrick's High School in Winton and Eccles College of Further Education. She read English at Cambridge University and then trained under Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse on the annual Resident Assistant Director scheme, which runs to this day. Following this, Josie became trainee Associate Director at The Royal Court Theatre before taking up the role of Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres where she directed five productions, including World Music, which transferred to the Donmar Warehouse, Kick for Touch and The Long and The Short and The Tall.

Her 2010 production of Men Should Weep by Ena Lamont Stewart ran in the Lyttelton Theatre at the Royal National Theatre and in 2011 her production of Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, ran in the West End at Wyndham's Theatre (Olivier nomination, Whatsonstage.com Award). Her other freelance credits include King John for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Cryptogram for the Donmar Warehouse, My Dad's A Birdman for the Young Vic and Loyal Women for The Royal Court Theatre.

Josie became the Artistic Director at The Bush Theatre, London in 2007. She departed in 2011, after securing a 125 year lease on the former Shepherds Bush Library, and creating its new home with Architects Haworth Tompkins. Shows directed for The Bush Theatre include: How To Curse, Tinderbox, 2000 Feet Away, Wrecks, Apologia, If There Is I haven't Found It Yet, Like a Fishbone. Josie took part in Sandi Toksvig's Drama: Live! on Sky Arts in which she directed a new play by Eve Ensler at the Riverside Studios and live on Sky Arts 2.

Matt Charman's first play, A Night at the Dogs (at Soho Theatre, London), won the prestigious Verity Bargate Award for new writers. Other productions include The Observer, directed by Sir Richard Eyre, and The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder, and Greenland (written with Jack Thorne, Moira Buffini and Penelope Skinner), all three of which premiered at The National Theatre of Great Britain where Charman was previously Pearson Writer in Residence. Charman is a recipient of the Peggy Ramsay Award and the 2008 Catherine Johnson Award for Best Play for The Observer.

Regrets, received its World Premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club in May 2012 leading to Matt being cited as "Britain's fastest rising young playwright" by the New York Times.

Matt is currently writing a screenplay for Universal/Working Title Film, and also for Sony Films and Roland Emmerich, as well as two original drama series for the BBC.

The Donmar Warehouse is a 250-seat subsidised (not for profit) theatre located in the heart of London's West End which, under the artistic leadership of Sam Mendes, Michael Grandage and now Josie Rourke, has a reputation as one of the UK's leading producing theatres. It has presented some of London's most memorable award-winning theatrical experiences, and has garnered critical acclaim at home and abroad. http://www.donmarwarehouse.com/

THE OLD WOMAN

Pioneering theatre director Robert Wilson returns to Manchester International Festival with a new theatrical production, The Old Woman. Developed with and starring dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, and co-starring Willem Dafoe, The Old Woman is an adaptation of the work of the same name by Russian author, Daniil Kharms.

Born in St Petersburg in 1905, Kharms suffered through Stalinist rule for much of his life before being arrested, imprisoned and killed by Soviet soldiers in the Gulags at age 36. The shortness of Kharms' life parallels the brevity of his absurdist writings, some of which stretch to little more than a paragraph. One exception is The Old Woman, an obscure, polemical novella written in the 1930s.

Carrying echoes of Beckett and Ionesco in its deadpan narrative, The Old Woman follows the story of a struggling writer who cannot find peace with himself.

The Old Woman is a Baryshnikov Productions, Change Performing Arts and The Watermill Center project. It is commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival, Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi, Théâtre de la Ville-Paris/Festival d'Automne à Paris and deSingel, Antwerp.

Creative Team/Performers:

Robert Wilson Director
Mikhail Baryshnikov Performer
Willem Dafoe Performer

LISTINGS

THE OLD WOMAN
PALACE THEATRE, OXFORD STREET, MANCHESTER, M1 6FT
Thu 4 - Sat 6 JULY at 7.30pm, Sun 7 JULY at 2.30pm

Tickets £45, £39, £33, £28, £23 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction fee applies)
Concessions available
Box Office: www.mif.co.uk | 0844 375 2013

£12 tickets for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage, available on a first come first served honesty basis

The New York Times described Robert Wilson as "a towering figure in the world of experimental theater." Wilson, born in 1941 in Waco Texas, is among the world's foremost theater and visual artists. His works for the stage unconventionally integrate a wide variety of artistic media, including dance, movement, lighting, sculpture, music, and text. His images are aesthetically striking and emotionally charged, and his productions have earned the acclaim of audiences and critics worldwide.

Wilson's awards and honors include two Guggenheim Fellowship awards ('71 and '80), the nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama ('86), the Golden Lion for sculpture from the Venice Biennale ('93), the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for lifetime achievement ('96), the Premio Europa award from Taormina Arte ('97), election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters ('00), and Commandeur des arts et des lettres ('02) among others.

Together with composer Philip Glass, he created the seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. With productions such as Deafman Glance, KA MOUTain and GUARDenia Terrace, Life and Times of Sigmund Freud, CIVIL warS, Death Destruction & Detroit or a Letter for Queen Victoria he redefined and expanded theater. Wilson's collaborators include diverse writers and musicians such as Susan Sontag, Lou Reed, Heiner Müller, Jessye Norman, David Byrne, Tom Waits, and Rufus Wainwright. Wilson has also left his imprint on masterworks such as The Magic Flute, Wagner's Ring Cycle, Madama Butterfly, Dreamplay, Per Gynt, The Threepenny Opera, Shakesepeare's Sonnets and Krapp's Last Tape.

DANCE: Mikhail Baryshnikov, a native of Riga, Latvia, was born in 1948 and began studying ballet at the age of nine. As a teenager he moved to Leningrad where he entered the Vaganova Choreographic School, graduating from student to principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet in 1969. In 1974, he left the Soviet Union to dance with major ballet companies around the world including the New York City Ballet where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. In 1980 he began a 10-year tenure as Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre, nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers.

From 1990 to 2002, Mr. Baryshnikov was director and dancer with the White Oak Dance Project, which he co-founded with choreographer Mark Morris. White Oak was born of Baryshnikov's desire "to be a driving force in the production of art," and, indeed, it expanded the repertoire and visibility of American modern dance.

In 2005, he opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), a creative home for local and International Artists to develop and present work. Located in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, BAC houses fOur Studios, a 150 -seat studio theater, and a 238-seat Jerome Robbins Theater. Through its residency program, BAC gives space and time to young and established artists to dream and create in the Center's studios without any commercial pressure. BAC also presents contemporary, innovative work by artists from the worlds of dance, theater, music, and film at low or no cost to the public. Under his leadership as Artistic Director, BAC programs serve approximately 500 artists, and more than 20,000 audience members each year.

Among Mr. Baryshnikov's many awards are the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Honor, The Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award, and the 2012 Vilcek Award. In 2010 he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor.

THEATRE: Broadway: Metamorphosis (Tony nom. & Drama Desk Award).

Off-Broadway: Forbidden Christmas Or The Doctor And The Patient (Lincoln Center Festival), Beckett Shorts (New York Theatre Workshop), In Paris (The Broad Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Spoleto Festival, Lincoln Center Festival, and International Tour).

FILM & TV: The Turning Point (Oscar nom.), White Nights, various television shows, including three Emmy award-winning specials.

Baryshnikov's numerous awards include: Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Honor, The Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award, and rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor. He serves as Artistic Director of the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Willem Dafoe is an American film and stage actor. He's a founding member of the experimental theatre company The Wooster Group and created and performed in all the group's work from 1977-2003. He returns to Manchester following his recent performance in Robert Wilson's The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic . He has had roles in a wide range of films, including The Hunter, AntiChrist, 444: Last Day on Earth, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou , Miral, A Woman, The Dust of Time, Go Go Tales, Daybreakers, Inside Man, American Psycho, Wild at Heart, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Auto Focus, Tom and Viv, Streets of Fire, To Live and Die in L.A., Born on the Fourth of July, The English Patient, The Last Temptation of Christ, Mississippi Burning, The Boondock Saints, Spider-Man, The Loveless, eXIstenZ, Clear and Present Danger, Light Sleeper and The Aviator; as well as voice roles in the animated Fantastic Mr. Fox and Finding Nemo. Dafoe has been twice been nominated for the Academy Award: for Platoon and Shadow of the Vampire.

Willem Dafoe first worked with Robert Wilson in his Voom video portrait series.

MACBETH

Directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, this interpretation of Shakespeare's tragedy will unfold within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester Church.

Branagh has long been lauded as one of the great Shakespearean interpreters. His skills as a writer, director and actor have garnered international acclaim across the disciplines of stage, film and television, and he has been nominated in five different categories for an Academy Award.

Branagh last performed Shakespeare when he played Richard III at the Sheffield Crucible in 2002. His recent stage performances as Edmund at The National Theatre and Ivanov for the Donmar played to great acclaim. In 2011, Branagh completed a sell-out run of the hit comedy The Painkiller at the Lyric Theatre in his native Belfast.

Rob Ashford has directed and choreographed productions on both sides of the Atlantic, from collaborations with the Donmar Warehouse and National Theatre to major Broadway productions. Ashford has a string of nominations and awards to his name which include: an Olivier Award for Anna Christie, with nominations for A Streetcar Named Desire and Parade (Donmar Warehouse), and a Tony Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, with nominations for productions including Evita and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He also won an Emmy Award for his choreography at the 81st Academy Awards.

MIF is delighted to offer another chance to see Macbeth via a one-off live relay on a big screen in central Manchester. This will be an open air event; picnics, blankets and cushions are welcome.

This production of Macbeth is commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival.

Manchester International Festival 2013 will run from Thursday 4 July - Sunday 21 July 2013. Register for updates at www.mif.co.uk.

Listings:

MACBETH
DIRECTED BY Rob Ashford AND Kenneth Branagh
STARRING Kenneth Branagh
Venue: Details of the meeting point will be sent to the ticket holders
Fri 5 - Sun 21 July 2013

Tickets £65 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction fee applies)
Concessions available
Box Office: www.mif.co.uk | 0844 375 2013

£12 tickets for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage, available on a first come first served honesty basis

MACBETH BIG SCREEN RELAY
NCP BRIDGEWATER HALL CAR PARK, LITTLE PETER STREET, M15 4PS
Sat 20 July 2013 at 8.30pm
Tickets £8 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction fee applies)
Box Office: www.mif.co.uk / Quaytickets + 44 (0) 844 375 2013

THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY

Actress Maxine Peake and Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Sarah Frankcom will stage a haunting, provocative new interpretation of Percy Bysshe Shelley's epic poem in Manchester's Albert Hall. As relevant to post-riot, mid-recession Britain as it was to the nation when it was first written, this production will bring new relevance to a text often regarded as the greatest political poem in history.

Shelley's landmark 91-verse epic was penned in response to the violent quelling of a peaceful protest for parliamentary reform at St Peter's Field, Manchester in 1819: the Peterloo Massacre. A 60,000-strong crowd of Mancunians of all ages, some even dressed in their Sunday best, gathered in a dignified anti-poverty, pro-democracy protest on 16th August. Armed cavalry sent in by magistrates to disperse these crowds killed 15 and left hundreds more injured in the fray. Now, just under 200 years later, this new theatrical production will be staged in Manchester's Albert Hall. For this staging, the atmospheric chapel in the city centre will open its doors to the public for the first time in more than 40 years.

A native of Bolton, Maxine Peake is known for her television roles in Silk, Shameless and Room at the Top as well as for numerous theatre credits including the title role in Miss Julie at the Royal Exchange, directed by Sarah Frankcom. Frankcom is an Artistic Director of Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre. Recent productions include: Orpheus Descending, A View From The Bridge and The Lady From The Sea.

The Masque of Anarchy is commissioned by Manchester International Festival and produced by Manchester International Festival and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Manchester International Festival 2013 will run from Thursday 4 July - Sunday 21 July 2013. Register for updates at www.mif.co.uk.

Creative Team/Performers:

Maxine Peake Performer
Sarah Frankcom Director
Chris Davey Lighting Designer
Peter Rice and Alex Baranowski Music and Sound

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival,
Produced by Manchester International Festival and the Royal Exchange Theatre

Listings

THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY,
Albert Hall, PETER STREET, MANCHESTER, M2 5QJ
12 July (21:45), 13 July (21:45 & 23:00), 14 July (21:45)

Tickets £15 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction fee applies)
Concessions available
Box Office: www.mif.co.uk | 0844 375 2013

£12 tickets for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage, available on a first come first served honesty basis

One of the nation's favourite actresses, Maxine Peake has had a prolific run of top quality films and dramas in recent years; See No Evil: The Moors Murders, Red Riding, The Devil's Whore, Criminal Justice, Little Dorrit, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, Hancock and Joan (BAFTA nominated), Silk, Room at the Top, Henry IV part 1 & 2, Private Peaceful, The Street, Dinnerladies and Shameless. She made her debut as a script writer for BBC Radio 4 with a play called Beryl: A love story on two wheels.

With a rich list of TV credits, Maxine's career in theatre is as equally impressive. She has performed at some of the most prestigious theatres in the country including The Cherry Orchard, The Relapse and Luther all at The National Theatre, The Deep Blue Sea and Hamlet at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Mother Theresa is Dead at the Royal Court, The Children's Hour at the Royal Exchange and Miss Julie at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and the Manchester Royal Exchange.

In March she will star in The Village for BBC1 penned by BAFTA winning writer Peter Moffat who also wrote Silk and Criminal Justice. Maxine takes a lead role alongside John Simm.

After working as a drama teacher in the East End, Sarah started working with new writers and in drama schools. She spent time at The National Theatre studio, Oval House, The Red Room, and taught at The Poor School. Originally joining the Royal Exchange as Literary Manager, her recent productions have included: Three Birds (by Janice Okoh - Bruntwood Prize winner 2011), Orpheus Descending, Miss Julie (a new version by David Eldridge), Beautiful Thing, A View From The Bridge, Winterlong (by Andrew Sheridan - Bruntwood Prize winner), Punk Rock (by Simon Stephens - MEN Award for Best Production), Blithe Spirit, Three Sisters, On The Shore Of The Wide World (by Simon Stephens - Olivier Award for Best Play) and Kes. Her work has also been seen at The National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Soho Theatre and the Crucible.

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester is one of the leading theatres in the UK. Producing a repertoire of up to twelve productions a year in its 750 seat permanent theatre in the round and the 100 seat Studio, we are passionate about what our theatre can offer. We aim to present great writing in quality productions that tell intimate and epic stories that entertain, provoke and inspire. We collaborate with some of the most innovative and original theatre makers in this country. We work in partnership with different communities to help them express themselves creatively. We train, develop and mentor future generations of theatre artists and make our building a place for people to meet talk work and relax in the heart of the vibrant city of Manchester. For more details visit www.royalexchange.co.uk.

THE RITE OF SPRING

One hundred years after its controversial premiere, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is reworked by visionary theatre-maker Romeo Castellucci. Castellucci will collaborate with Teodor Currentzis, Artistic Director of the Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre, and his orchestra MusicAeterna. This striking reworking will be presented in the industrial space of Manchester's Mayfield Depot as part of this year's Festival. Castellucci's staging remakes what is conventionally a dance piece into an extraordinary theatre and art installation, creating choreography from falling bone powder. In a show without actors or dancers, the 100 piece orchestra will become part of the staging.

In an exhilarating departure from past productions, Castellucci explains "The bone powder is the main character on the stage. It looks as if the dancers got dissolved in the air, turning into a cloud of dust, powder... the dance of dust particles - the endless dance of the Universe."

An electronic sound prelude created by Scott Gibbons will precede The Rite of Spring. Comprised entirely from sounds at the molecular scale, the piece will be created using a new type of microphone which is being developed at the University of Glasgow. Gibbons explains: "The sounds from this microphone are sampled, filtered, overlaid and processed in a quest to recognize and suggest patterns and stories from a place far beyond our species' natural powers of perception, in which it is possible to hear the restless jostling of atoms and molecules."

This vital new Rite, which celebrates the centenary of the work, will be subsequently performed in Perm, Russia, home to MusicAeterna, and also to Sergei Diaghilev, who commissioned the original performance, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky. The work's debut sparked a riot in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, 1913 and ushered in a new kind of popular art and music, becoming one of the defining moments of 20th-century culture.

The Rite of Spring is commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Manchester International Festival 2013 will run from Thursday 4 July - Sunday 21 July 2013. Register for updates at www.mif.co.uk.

Creative Team:

Romeo Castellucci Staged by
MusicAeterna Performed by
Teodor Currentzis Conductor
Scott Gibbons Sound Score

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

LISTINGS

STRAVINSKY'S THE RITE OF SPRING
STAGED BY ROMEO CASTELLUCCI
PERFORMED BY MUSICAETERNA
CONDUCTED BY TEODOR CURRENTZIS
MAYFIELD DEPOT, FAIRFIELD STREET, MANCHESTER, M12 6HR
14 July (3pm), 15-18 July (9pm), 19 July (7pm)

Tickets £28 (no per ticket booking fee; transaction charge applies)
Concessions available
Box Office: www.mif.co.uk / 0844 375 2013

£12 tickets for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage, available on a first come first served honesty basis

Romeo Castellucci was born in 1960 in Cesena, Italy. He graduated with a degree in painting and scenography from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. In 1981, jointly with Claudia Castellucci and Chiara Guidi, he founded Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. Since then he has produced numerous plays in the role of author, director and creator of scenes, lights, sound and costumes. He is known all over the world as an author of theater based on the totality of the arts, aimed at creating an integral perception; he has also written various essays on the theory of directing plays, which trace the development of his type of theater. His directing is characterized by dramatic lines that are not subject to the primacy of literature, but rather make of theater a plastic, complex art, rich with visions. This has developed a comprehensible language in the same way that music, sculpture, painting and architecture can be. His plays are regularly invited and produced by the most prestigious theaters and festivals all over the world.

Teodor Currentzis is the Artistic Director of the Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Artistic Director of the International Diaghilev Festival, Founder and Artistic Director of the ensemble MusicAeterna and of the MusicAeterna Chamber Choir, both formed in 2004, during his tenure as Music Director of the Novosibirsk State Opera and Orchestra (2004-2010). Officer of the Order of Friendship (by the decree of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev from October 29, 2008), several-time winner of The National Theatre Award "Golden Mask".

MusicAeterna, now resident in Perm, has earned its reputation as the foremost Russian ensemble specialised in authentic performance. However, the orchestra does not limit its repertoire to early music, successfully combining pieces from different epochs, including 20th century works and new commissions. Together with Maestro Currentzis, they signed exclusively to Sony Music in 2012 and are recording the three Mozart Da Ponte Operas for release between 2013 and 2015. Previous recordings include Shostakovich's Symphony No. 14, Mozart Requiem and Dido and Aeneas all on the Alpha label and the Shostakovich Piano Concertos with Alexander Melnikov and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra on Harmonia Mundi.

Teodor Currentzis has acquired the unofficial status of the champion of "authentic" Mozart in Russia. In 2012 Russian music critics introduced a new term, "Perm's Mozart":

These coming seasons are very exciting for both Teodor and MusicAeterna; they return to the UK to make their debut at the Manchester International Festival with a new stage version of The Rite of Spring directed by Romeo Castellucci. This production will also travel to the Ruhr Trienale. In September the Perm Opera will present Purcell's opera The Indian Queen, directed by Peter Sellars, in co-production with the Madrid Teatro Real, where the opera will be presented in November 2013. In February 2014 MusicAeterna will tour a number of prestigious European venues, including the Berlin Philharmonic and Paris Cite de la Musique.

In January 2013, Teodor Currentzis made his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, during 2013 he returns to the Munich Philharmonic and the goes on an extensive European tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In April 2013 Maestro Currentzis makes his debut with Zurich Opera in a production of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District and in May 2014 at Covent Garden with Puccini's Tosca. Teodor has a long standing and privileged relationship with Teatro Real, Madrid and returns every season. Future projects in Madrid include Verdi's Requiem, Wagner's Tristian und Isolde, Verdi's Don Carlos.

Previous highlights include a successful debut at Paris Opera in 2008 which led to Teodor returning in 2009 with a critically acclaimed production of Verdi's Macbeth directed by Dmitry Tcherniakov; the International Festival Baden-Baden with a new production of Bizet's Carmen, directing the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Orchestra; Weinberg's The Passenger at the Bregenz Festival with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and his debut at the Bolshoi Theatre, with a new production of Berg's Wozzeck. He returned there in autumn 2010 for the premiere of Mozart's Don Giovanni and throughout the 2010/11 season for revival performances of both productions.

In 2006, combining his knowledge and passion for early music with contemporary composers and new music, Teodor started the Territoria Modern Art Festival, which in a short space of time has become the most prestigious and progressive annual music festival in Moscow.

Since 2012 Teodor Currentzis has been the Artistic Director of the International Diaghilev Festival in Perm, which has the aim of preserving and developing the traditions of the great impresario and promoter of Russian culture Sergei Pavlovitch Diaghilev. The programme of the festival includes the world premieres of operas and ballets, contemporary dance, drama theatre, art exhibitions, concerts of symphonic,music, chamber music, early music and jazz music, film retrospectives. Artists in residence of 2013 Diaghilev Festival are pianist and composer-postminimalist Anton Batagov, and radical Italian director, "unstoppable theatre innovator" Romeo Castellucci.

Teodor has received four prestigious Russian "Golden Mask" theatrical awards.

In 2013 the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre under Teodor Currentzis's artstic direction received 17 nominations for the "Golden Mask" Award, more than any other theatre in Russia. The Artistic Director and Conductor of the Perm Theatre Teodor Currentzis is mentioned in the "Best Conductor" category four times: for Mozart's opera Cosi fan tutte and Pascal Dusapin's Medeamaterial, and for two ballets - Igor Stravinsky's Les Noces and Sergei Prokofiev's Chout.

Born in Greece, Russia has become Teodor's home since the beginning of the 1990s, when he studied conducting at the state conservatory of St. Petersburg, under the tutelage of Professor Ilya Musin, whose pupils, among others, were renowned conductors Odyseuss Dimitriadis, Valery Gergiev, and Semyon Bychkov.

The Perm State P.I. Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Russia. Throughout its history, which dates back over a century, the Tchaikovsky theatre has managed to remain one of the most important cultural centres of Russia. Artistic events of major significance continue to take place on its stage.

In the theatre, which is often called "The House of Tchaikovsky", were staged all the operas and ballets of the great composer. Among the artistic treasures of the repertoire are carefully preserved the classical works of Borodin, Moussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. The theatre has brought to life a number of unfairly forgotten operatic masterpieces. Denisov's Pena Dneii, Massnet's Cleopatra, Schedrin's Lolita (based on the Nabokov's novel), Handel's Alcina, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo and Rubinstein's Christus were staged in the Perm Opera for the first time in Russia.

Perm is called the third (after Moscow and Saint Petersburg) Mecca for ballet-lovers, where along with the ballet troupe functions the famous ballet academy. Since the 1970s Perm ballet has been a magnet for public attention. The concordance of the performing manner of the soloists and the corps-de-ballet is the "specialty" of the company. Perm ballet troupe is probably the only one in Russia that consists entirely of the graduates of the same academy.

For many decades the Perm stage has been a "launching site" for many artists, whose fame now stretches beyond the borders of Russia. In the Perm theatre started the artistic journey of many stars of the theatres of Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and other ballet companies of the world. Among those artists are: Galina Ragozina-Panova, Lubov Kunakova, Nadegda Pavlova, Olga Chenchikova, Marata Daukaeva, Yuri Petuhov, Galina Shalyapina, Svetlana Smirnova. They are truly the pride of the Perm region.

Deserved fame was brought to the Perm theatre with the participation of its artists in various international festivals. The theatre itself has initiated and organised the Open Competition for Russian ballet artists "Arabesque" and the International Festival of Arts "Diaghilev Seasons: Perm-St.Petersburg-Paris".

Opera and ballet productions of the Perm theatre have often been nominated for and have won the awards of The National Theatre Festival "The Golden Mask"

The leading soloists of the Perm theatre have visited different continents, performing in various productions and concerts. Since 1973 the entire company of the Perm Theatre has toured Australia, Italy, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, Japan and South Korea, England, Ireland, Holland, Spain, China and the USA. In France and on Cuba, in Cambodia and in Canada, in Thailand and in Egypt, in Nicaragua, in India and in the United States - everywhere the artists performed they were warmly received by both the critics and the public and have found true friends among those who appreciate the art of the Perm Opera and Ballet company.

While continuing the theatrical traditions of the past, The Perm P.I. Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre is and always has been longing to make its productions up-to-date and full of life.

About Manchester International Festival
Manchester International Festival is the world's first festival of original, new work and special events and takes place biennially, in Manchester, UK. The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.

Manchester International Festival 2013 will run from Thursday 4 July - Sunday 21 July 2013. Register for updates at www.mif.co.uk.

Photo Credit: The Machine. Image by AKA.

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